Italy recall Quagliarella, leave out Balotelli for Euro 2020 qualifiers


Rome (AFP)

Veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella was included but Mario Balotelli was left out on Friday for Italy's first two Euro 2020 qualifiers against Finland and Liechtenstein later this month.

Quagliarella, 36, returns following impressive form with Sampdoria this season, as he leads the Serie A goal scorers chart with 20 efforts in 27 games.

He could earn his 26th cap, eight and a half years after his last, against Finland on March 23 in Udine or Liechtenstein in Parma three days later.

But Balotelli has been overlooked despite his positive start at Marseille with five goals in seven matches, along with Andrea Belotti, who has scored ten league goals for Torino.

Mancini called up strikers Ciro Immobile, Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi as Italy look to bounce back after failing to qualify for last year's World Cup.

Roma winger Stephan El Shaarawy returns as teenagers Moise Kean and Nicolo Zaniolo also get the nod.

Juventus's Leonardo Spinazzola joins veterans Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in the back line.

Italy squad

Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Mattia Perin, Salvatore Sirigu

Defenders: Cristiano Biraghi, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Alessandro Florenzi, Armando Izzo, Gianluca Mancini, Cristiano Piccini, Alessio Romagnoli, Leonardo Spinazzola

Midfielders: Nicolo Barella, Bryan Cristante, Jorginho, Stefano Sensi, Marco Verratti, Nicolo Zaniolo

Strikers: Federico Bernardeschi, Federico Chiesa, Stephan El Shaarawy, Vincenzo Grifo, Ciro Immobile, Moise Kean, Kevin Lasagna, Leonardo Pavoletti, Matteo Politano, Fabio Quagliarella